In the days when nobody was saying anything positive about Indians, and the only images people had of them originated in either Hollywood or Madison Avenue, positive reinforcement in a song was just as important as protesting wrongs. While folk like James Brown, Isaac Hayes, and others were extolling the virtues of Black Power, the only voice at all singing about Indians was Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Of course she didn't only sing about Indians, she sang other music as well, and included on this new Vanguard Visionaries disc is her cover of Neil Young's classic "Helpless." It must be something about the song, but it really only sounds right when sung by a person with a voice up in the near falsetto range. Her version is every bit as evocative and chilling as Mr. Young's original.
You might not know very much about Buffy Sainte-Marie anymore, she semi retired from music a while back to start work on an arts program for young Native Americans across North America. I think her last studio album was back in the early '90s, and it was just as powerful and potent as ever. Listening to this disc will make you wonder how you ever missed hearing such a distinctive and passionate voice.
Some music when you listen to it thirty years after it was originally released loses its impact and power. That's not the case here with the music of Buffy Sainte-Marie; it's just as potent and powerful as it was when first released. If you missed it then, make sure you don't miss this second opportunity to experience one of the most original female pop vocalists of the past forty years.